July 9, 2023 was finally here. The day we had planned almost a year for - we were leaving Florida and headed around the World as full time family travel content creators.
I didn’t sleep the night before, to be expected I suppose. My best friend and my daughters boyfriend accompanied us to the airport - god bless them both because we left at 3:00am! It was surreal driving to the airport knowing that would be the last time I drove a car for who knows how long.
We arrived at the airport at 4:15am and after a little hiccup at the check in we were ready to go. We made it through TSA and got to our gate with enough time to grab a few snacks.
As our plane was taking off the sun was rising, it was a bittersweet emotion saying goodbye to Florida. Tears freely fell on the first flight to Houston. We were doing this, scary, unknown but knowing this is the right path for us right now.
The kids were great on the plane, Thomas even slept through the landing. Little jealous how he can knock out so easily but I digress.
We landed on time in Houston and navigated to our next gate. There were 2 indoor play spaces on the side of the airport we were on and those were a savior. We grabbed a breakfast burrito and coffees and waited for our flight to Costa Rica to board.
This neon at our gate was quite fitting. The flight into Costa Rica was smooth, both my kids slept AGAIN. And yes Thomas slept through this landing too!
We flew into Liberia and it was an incredibly easy process. Right out of the gate we entered the Immigration queue, the wait was minimal and it was our turn. We got to the desk, the nice worker asked us for the address of where we were staying in Costa Rica, when we were leaving and asked for our exit flight info and stamped our passports with a 90 day tourist visa stamp.
By the time we got through all our luggage was already waiting for us - all 6 checked bags made it! We had been connected with a local driver and tour guide through the condo we rented and he was waiting right outside for us.
The hardest part of the whole day was getting 2 kids, 6 checked bags, one carry on and 3 backpacks from luggage claim through the security and out the door. WHY DID WE PACK SO MUCH?!? I’m digressing again.
Kyle, the driver & guide was so helpful getting us loaded into his small SUV but we made it. From Liberia it was a 30 minute drive to Playas Del Coco which will be our home for the week.
Our original plan was to not leave for this trip until July 16/17 but a few weeks prior I saw Southwest dropped flight prices and I’ve always been partial to Southwest, and bags fly free… which was kind of my downfall in overpacking….
When I saw the Southwest deal I decided we could just leave a week earlier. I had joined and been following several Facebook groups during the year of planning so it was super easy and fast to find a place to stay for the week.
I connected with a woman who owns several units in a condo in Playas Del Coco and at first we were going to take one of her 2 bedroom units but when we realized it was on the 3rd floor with no elevator and we had ALL THAT LUGGAGE we changed our minds and picked one of her ground floor units which was smaller. I stand by that decision although the unit was smaller and a bit of a tight fit for me and two kids (and 8700 pounds of luggage).
The Condo, Agua de Lechuna is in a fabulous location. It’s a few blocks from the ocean, about 2 blocks off the main strip, has a beautiful pool and the view from the upper floors is incredible. It’s a gated building and there’s a night guard every night. One of the first things that struck me about Costa Rica is the level of security. Some might say, “you shouldn’t need to have paid security” but this is how this country is designed and it is why we feel safe here. Kyle dropped us off and we were greeted by Samantha who was the property manager. She was the sweetest and got us into our unit and she even drove me into town (all 2 blocks but still I was very grateful) and dropped me at the Mini-Super so I could get some groceries.
Mini-supers are comparable to a bodega or a Dollar General except they also sell fresh fruits and vegetables and more groceries than Dollar General would. They are on every corner and every single small town here has at least one. Prices here are comparable to the US, some things are cheaper and some are more expensive. I grabbed a few things that would be familiar to my kids, cereal, yogurt, milk and fruits but I also got a handful of Costa Rica snacks for us to try.
No sooner had I got back to the condo when the bottom of the sky fell out. We were exhausted and slept through our first Costa Rican thunderstorm. When we finally woke up we ordered pizza and had it delivered.
Everything here is done through WhatsApp. I found a pizza delivery place, messaged them the order and within 20 minutes a delivery person was waiting at our gate for me. It was so simple, no apps to navigate, no account to create, no credit card info needed just text the order and voila it appears. Every where here takes US dollars, 2 pizzas delivered was under $25 and they were fresh & homemade!
This day will be remembered as one of the longest in my life but it was all worth it!